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Waynesboro Area School Board candidate says she is eligible for seat

Verbal complaints about Ashley M. Newcomer's residency have been lodged with the Franklin County (Pa.) Board of Elections

November 01, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
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WAYNESBORO, Pa. — A Waynesboro Area School Board candidate is defending herself against questions about whether she's eligible to run for the seat in her jurisdiction.

Verbal complaints about Ashley M. Newcomer's residency have been lodged with the Franklin County (Pa.) Board of Elections, Deputy Chief Clerk Jean Byers said Tuesday.

Because ballots have been printed, the election board can't do much about the recent allegations, Byers said.

"At this point, as far as the election board, we don't have any recourse," she said.

At issue is whether Newcomer's house in the Borough of Waynesboro is her primary residence. She is running for a Washington Township, Pa., seat on the school board, which elects by region.

She needs to be a resident of the region she would represent.

Mary Beth Shank, the election board's solicitor, said no one submitted a formal complaint during the objection period. Such a complaint would have been the subject of a court hearing.

"Our position is no one's filed an objection to Miss Newcomer's nominating petition, so therefore it is deemed valid under state law," Shank said.

Newcomer said in a telephone interview Tuesday that people have asked her about residency during her door-to-door campaigning.

Newcomer has been listing her parents' house at 8 Eastland Circle in Washington Township as her residence in election documents.

Newcomer said she purchased a borough home on Hollengreen Drive in the Brimington Estates development in 2010. She described the purchase as an investment.

The house is furnished, and she said she works there two days a week.

Newcomer, 26, said she sleeps at her parents' house because she prefers to be around family. She said a couple relatives live on Eastland Circle.

Newcomer's driver's license lists 8 Eastland Circle as her address. She provided The Herald-Mail with a scanned copy of her driver's license and some tax forms, which also list 8 Eastland Circle.

She's registered to vote at 8 Eastland Circle.

"Really, I've never left Eastland Circle," she said.

Byers and Shank said it will be up to the school board how to handle the issue if Newcomer is elected.

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